Currently Browsing: Bechdel-Wallace List

Mothers and daughters of “The Joy Luck Club” share their immigrant stories

Based on a novel written by Amy Tan, the 1993 film The Joy Luck Club follows women of four Chinese immigrant families who share their stories about life and hardship. Things don’t come easily to them. (SYJ: 4/5)

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‘Banana Split’ is slickly aesthetic and surprisingly heartfelt

The slickly aesthetic and surprisingly heartfelt Banana Split is a stellar follow-up to writer, director, and actress Hannah Marks’s first feature After Everything. It has a lot to say about love, friendship, and coming of age, and comes in a snarky but bubblegum-pop package. (GPG: 5/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto The summer before […]

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The story of the ‘Lost Girls’ is unveiled in an investigative mystery drama

Liz Garbus directs mystery drama Lost Girls based on real life stories surrounding the Long Island Serial Killer case. The Netflix production is a dark story of loss and biased investigations of multiple unsolved disappearances and murders. Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan stars as a determined mother whose mind is set on finding her mysteriously missing daughter. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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A community of ‘Military Wives’ sing in unity and support

Writers Rosanne Flynn and Rachel Tunnard work together with director Peter Cattaneo on British comedy feature Military Wives, available on VOD today. When war takes their partners away, a group of women find themselves searching for something to occupy their minds. Starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan, this is a film about the birth of a strong friendship between women of different backgrounds brought together by the act of singing. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Refreshingly honest ‘Hooking Up’ is an atypical road trip rom-com

Brittany Snow and Sam Richardson star in the refreshing and unique romantic comedy Hooking Up, on digital and on demand March 20.  Darla (Snow) is a sex-crazed columnist for a fading magazine who has one last chance to prove her worth to her boss. When she meets Bailey (Richardson), a testicular cancer patient who has […]

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Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder give breakout performances in ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’

Eliza Hittman’s intimate, raw Never Rarely Sometimes Always follows 17-year-old Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) as she ventures to New York City to get an abortion at 18 weeks pregnant. With the help of her trusted cousin (Talia Ryder), the two encounter physical and emotional obstacles in a city far from home. (4/5) Review by Vice President […]

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EXTRA ORDINARY (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Extra Ordinary, written by a team of writers including Maeve Higgins, is a story of exorcism and satanism with a comedic twist. The film is a parody on the typical ghost buster movie. (SYJ: ⅘)   Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Jin Extra Ordinary opens with a piece of old documentary footage from […]

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“A Fine Line” explores the difficulties female chefs face in a male-dominated industry

In her first documentary and film, director Joanna James explores the struggles of top female chefs and restaurant owners to gain recognition in an industry ruled by men. At the same time, she tells the story of her own mother, chef and restaurant owner Valerie James, and her life of hard work and perseverance. (RMM: […]

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‘Saint Frances’ both unapologetic and sweet with sensitive subject matter

Kelly O’Sullivan writes and stars in the personal, touching Saint Frances, the story of a 26-year-old nanny in an affluent Chicago neighborhood who lives with the physical and emotional aftermath of having an abortion – and the six-year-old friend that gets her through. (4/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky Bridget […]

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Our beloved ‘Emma.’–the witty, and self-indulging matchmaker–is back in town

Autumn de Wilde directs her debut feature film Emma., in collaboration with writer Eleanor Catton. Anna Taylor-Joy stars as the playful, witty young heroine in this adaptation of the well-known Jane Austen classic of the same name. Believing she has a talent for matchmaking, Emma takes on the responsibility of navigating the complex relationships of the town. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘The Last Thing He Wanted’ lost in adaptation from book to screen

Anne Hathaway stars in the complicated, cluttered Netflix Original The Last Thing He Wanted from writer/director Dee Rees. Despite its aesthetically artistic lens, this adaptation from Joan Didion’s 1996 novel of the same name doesn’t quite translate to the screen. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky With a talented […]

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RIDE YOUR WAVE (2019): Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

A sad tale of delusion with a perky animated style, Ride Your Wave is a romantic tragedy about surfing. Only anime, and screenwriter Reiko Yoshida, could have created such a thing. The film is a well-structured cautionary tale about grief, with a surprising amount of depth for its short length. (GPG: 4/5) Review by Contributing […]

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‘Fantasy Island’ Reimagines the 1970’s TV Series

 Fantasy Island is a horror twist on the hit 1970’s TV show. While this is a creative and intriguing concept, the film didn’t quite manage to streamline itself into a properly horrific piece of cinema, as its new genre had promised (JRL: 2 / 5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker As the film […]

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Olympic Dreams (2020): Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

While the age difference is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser, this Nick Kroll fronted rom-com set at the 2018 Olympics gives us a meditative spin on the genre. Writer and actress Alexi Pappas gives us a painfully believable performance of a stressed-out millennial still figuring herself out. (GPG: 3/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto […]

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Neeson, Manville elevate gut-wrenching cancer story ‘Ordinary Love’

Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville star in this gut-wrenching story of resilience. When Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer, she relies on the support of her husband to get through the year-long journey of scans, surgeries and chemotherapy. While the straightforward drama is overly bleak at times, lacking a plot point or two to keep […]

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‘The Photograph’ brings back memories

In writer and director Stella Meghie’s new film, The Photograph, she tells two intertwining love stories from the past and present. When New York-based photographer “Christina Eames” (Chante Adams) passes, her daughter is led to the discovery of her mother’s past life in the small town of Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana. (SYJ: 3/5) Review […]

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‘Birds of Prey’ a rollercoaster ride of colorful action-packed adventure

Director Cathy Yan collaborates with writer Christina Hodson on action-packed adventure superhero feature “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn)”. This is a psychotic catharsis on a rollercoaster of glitter and violent fun. Margot Robbie stars as the kooky Harley Quinn and is accompanied by a notable female cast including Rosie Perez, Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and newcomer Cassandra Cain. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘The Lodge’ pays homage to horror film past

Pulling from horror/thriller classics, The Lodge tells the story of two children and their soon-to-be stepmother snowbound in a house with mysterious ongoings and looming spirits. Directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala make an aesthetically memorable film with an impressive cast, yet the thrills are few and far between. (3/5) Review by Vice President and […]

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‘Gul Makai’ tells Malala’s story

Written by Bhaswati Chakrabarty, Gul Makai is a fictionalized depiction of the events leading up to the shooting of Malala Yousafzai. Gul Makai doesn’t quite manage to do the worthwhile film subject justice (JRL: 2/5). Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker From the onset, Gul Makai paints a disturbing portrait of Pakistan as it’s overtaken […]

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Lana Wilson’s Taylor Swift doc feels like home, somehow

Director Lana Wilson builds a mosaic-like documentary around Taylor Swift and her 15-year journey of navigating intense spotlight and scrutiny. Juxtaposing footage from her sold-out stadium concerts to intimate, close-up conversations about her eating disorder, Miss Americana allows people into the world of a poetic singer/songwriter who, at 29, found her true voice. (BKP: 5/5) […]

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COLOR OUT OF SPACE (2019): Review by FF2 Media

The lovechild of Midsommar and 2018’s cult horror hit Mandy, writer Scarlett Amaris’s Color Out of Space brings HP Lovecraft back from the dead, without the eugenics this time. I didn’t know a movie could be this mind-blowing; I needed my mind blown first to be able to comprehend how blown my mind would be […]

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‘The Turning’ won’t turn you into a horror fan

The Turning (directed by Floria Sigismondi and written by Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, and based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James) is an unfortunately standard and underwhelming horror film about a young woman who becomes the live-in nanny for two orphaned children in a large spooky mansion in the middle of nowhere. […]

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AFTERWARD (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Bringing up issues of inter-generational trauma, nationalism, and the psychology of empire, Afterward is director Ofra Bloch’s journey toward understanding of herself and others. Anyone who has ever looked at the world (both past and present) and asked why and how people are capable of such acts of horror will be entranced by this psychodynamic […]

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Inspiring ‘Chhapaak’ shows triumph of human spirit

Meghna Gulzar’s heartbreaking film centers on 19-year-old Malti (Deepika Padukone) in the aftermath of an acid attack as she deals with legal and personal ramifications of the trauma. Told with grit and grace, this shocking true story follows Malti on her road to recovery. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. […]

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‘Clemency’ stuns with Alfre Woodard at the helm

Clemency (written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu) follows prison warden Bernadine Williams (played wonderfully by Alfre Woodard) as she struggles to deal with the psychological implications of carrying out death row executions. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Associate Dayna Hagewood Clemency opens with an immediate feeling of claustrophobia as Warden Bernadine walks down a stark […]

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‘Little Women’ a perfect, faithful adaptation from Greta Gerwig

Written for the screen and directed by Greta Gerwig, Little Women is a poignant retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, following seven pivotal years in the lives of the March sisters. Opening with the latter half of the novel, the film is told through flashbacks from the perspective of author Jo, portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan. 

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‘The Invisible Life’: a tragedy of two separated sisters in a toxic patriarchy

The Invisible Life, based on the The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão by Martha Batalha, is a Brazillian-German film directed by Karim Aïnouz and written with Inés Bortagaray and Murilo Hauser. The movie follows two sisters that are kept apart due to a lie told by their father, and their differing lives connected by persisting […]

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BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

While some may critique its lack of subtlety, Sophia Takal’s Black Christmas is exactly the kind of energy we need going into the 2020 election cycle. Why subtweet Nazis with antifascist undertones when you can just have your characters roll up their sleeves and get the purge done themselves? (GPG: 4/5). Review by Contributing Editor […]

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Genre-bending ‘Knives and Skin’ an inclusive, twisty teen noir

Writer/Director Jennifer Reeder’s teen noir is an ode to all-things-cult-film that came before. Set in a suburban Chicago high school, it’s Riverdale meets Carrie (and no, not the Carrie-themed episode of Riverdale). Part coming-of-age and part thriller, Knives and Skin is uniquely its own genre with a strong female presence in front of and behind […]

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Freedom and friendship in ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’

In Celine Sciamma’s new film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, an 18th century French painter finds herself with a difficult task. Secrets and deceit change the relationship dynamic between two girls. (SYJ: rating 4 / 5)   Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   Set in 18th century Brittany, «Marianne» (Noemie Merlant) […]

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